Small Business Blog
Clearing Land for Commercial Construction: 10 Tips
today at 1:45 pm
Developing land for a massive building project can seem like a daunting endeavor. You do need a systematic approach, but you can get the job done. Here are ten tips for clearing land for commercial construction.
1. Survey the Area
When you purchased your land, the seller should have provided a registered survey, including your parcel’s official lot number. The quickest way to upset your new neighbors is by digging across property lines.
Your first order of business is to walk your plot and stake your boundaries to avoid confusion — and potentially pricey mishaps. This inspection also offers the ideal opportunity to evaluate the types of obstructions you’ll encounter while clearing the property. Do you need to remove trees? Is the ground especially stony?
2. Choose the Right Equipment
Now that you have your boundaries marked and parcel evaluated, you’re ready to rent the right tools for the job. For many clearing tasks, a skid steer is usually the best choice.
They can handle a variety of tasks, including:
- Clearing overgrown brush
- Grinding down brush and trees
- Turning organic material into mulch
- Removing tree stumps
3. Estimate Costs
Your initial walkthrough should also give you the information necessary to estimate total costs. If you purchased the parcel sight unseen, you might discover all kinds of interesting items when you survey the property. You might find an outbuilding or encampment or the residue that careless visitors left behind.
Now is also a good time to clarify land use issues. For example, if you purchased a Superfund site, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may restrict use until cleanup completes. Some areas allow manufacturing and office complexes but restrict residential use — so you can’t build a row of shops with apartments on top.
4. Find the Best Crew
If you purchased a heavily wooded parcel, you might need more than equipment to fell trees. Fortunately, this step might not cost you much money if you are smart.
Hop online and investigate lumberjack services near you. Some companies will clear your land for free in exchange for the wood — and with prices what they are today, you might stand a good chance of getting help gratis.
5. Call 811
You don’t want to be the cause of a gas line break — or explosion. Please cover your bases by calling 811 before you commence property clearing. You do need to give utility companies a few days to mark lines, so consider this necessity when planning.
6. Work With the Weather
If you have leeway for when to commence your project, why not wait until the temperatures dip? The reasons are twofold. One, colder weather means that the ground freezes. Muddy earth won’t support heavy equipment as well, making your job vastly more cumbersome.
This timing also lets you take advantage of the spring planting season to establish your landscaping. If you purchased a property in a warmer climate, you need to get your plants started before the worst of the summer heat hits.
7. Ribbon Off Some Nature
You don’t have to start from scratch on your landscaping if you preserve a bit of nature when you clear land for commercial construction. Plus, you could save a fortune on future water costs and reduce your environmental footprints. The flora that grows wild on your property provides natural xeriscaping — it’s already adapted to local conditions. You could significantly reduce irrigation needs.
8. Protect Everyone’s Safety
Safety is paramount on any job site. Please ensure that all workers and visitors wear the proper protective equipment, including hard hats. A pair of steel-toe work boots keep your feet protected from rocks and debris.
9. Be Proactive With Weed Prevention
Once you clear the land, getting proactive with weed prevention can save you money and hassles down the line. Consider treating the parcel with an organic weed preventer that changes the soil composition, making it harder for weeds to germinate. Other alternatives include corn gluten meal and mulch.
10. Deal With Debris
You’re going to have brush, branches and other debris to dispose of — the right equipment will make this easier. Your skid steer should come with a mulching attachment that lets you enrich the soil with organic goodness. If you don’t need it all, contact commercial landscaping companies — they might pay you a pretty penny for it.
Follow These 10 Tips to Clear Your Land for Commercial Construction
Clearing your land for commercial construction isn’t as daunting in reality as it can seem. Use this handy 10-step guide to get your job done.
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Martin Banks grew up outside of Chicago and covers all things small-business related, as well as the world’s best hockey team, the Chicago Blackhawks
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